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2012 season calendar published by IndyCar

IndyCar organisers have published the long-awaited season calendar for 2012, featuring returns to Fontana's Auto Club Speedway and Detroit's Belle Isle raceway.
The season schedule for 2012 had been published by IndyCar, featuring returns to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana and to Detroit's Belle Isle raceway and the first-ever series outing to China.

Organisers had originally intended to publish the calendar last week. It is thought that last-minute contract negotiations with Texas Motor Speedway may have caused the delay. Concerns about the series running on 1.5-mile high-banked oval circuits are also thought to have prompted the series to wait for the official report into the fatal accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October before deciding to commit to a return to the Fort Worth venue.

Despite fears that these issues might cause the venue to be dropped, Texas returns to the schedule on June 9. It will once again stage a double-header evening/night two-race event, as it did in 2011 to great acclaim by fans. However, Texas loses its coveted position as the first event following the Indianapolis 500, with Belle Isle dropping into the intervening weekend instead (on June 3) as it returns for the first time since since holding CART events in 2007/8.

The first four events of the 2012 season will be the same as this year, starting with the traditional curtain raiser on the streets of St Petersburg on March 25. There will also be a pre-season open test session at Sebring International Raceway on March 5-8.

April will see IndyCar visiting Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama (April 1) followed by Long Beach in California (April 15) and Sao Paulo in Brazil (April 29). May will then be dominated by the traditional build up to and running of the famed Indianapolis 500 (May 27).

Following Detroit and Texas, the series will return to Iowa Speedway (June 23) for a nighttime race before heading to two road courses in Canada on the streets of Toronto (July 8) and Edmonton (July 22). August starts with the road race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (August 5) and ends with a return to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma (August 26), which bracket the series' first trip to China to race on the streets of Qingdao (August 19).

The final two races of the season will see IndyCar return for a second year to the streets of Baltimore (September 2) and then travel to the two-mile oval Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California (September 15) for a floodlit event. The circuit last appeared on the calendar in the CART series from 1997 to 2002.

While Fontana is currently the scheduled season finale, given that the series has already announced that it will not be returning to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2012 as originally planned, IndyCar organisers say that they are still investigating adding one or more further events which could be inserted at the end of the season.

“We are exploring adding additional events to the 2012 schedule," confirmed IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard. "We're in the process of confirming a 16th event, while also considering adding a 17th race to the calendar.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Indy 500 runner-up JR Hildebrand passes Paul Tracy during practice and qualifying for the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway - June 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Will Power takes the chequered flag at the end of the second race of the Firestone Twin 275s double-header event at Texas Motor Speedway. [Picture credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
Tony Kanaan and Wade Cunningham formed the front row of race 2 of the Firestone Twin 275 double header event at Texas Motor Speedway after qualifying was decided by a blind draw. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
The start of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29. [Picture credit: Larry Seidman for IndyCar Media]
The 33 starters line up ready for the green flat to begin the centennial Indianapolis 500. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday May 29, 2011. [Picture credit: Ron McQueeney for IndyCar Media]
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Graham Rahal celebrates victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway   (image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens)
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James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Carlos Munoz celebrates his first IndyCar pole at Texas Motor Speedway
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DGAS - Unregistered

December 28, 2011 2:20 PM

It was a wheel bearing failure on Greg Moore's car that caused the crash, not the circuit. I'm just worried that oval racing has become a bit of a dirty word after the death of Dan Wheldon and they are keeping them to a minimum amount of races.

britprik - Unregistered

January 05, 2012 8:48 PM

Oval racing isn't a bad word, it is people like Randy Bernard, who lacks a fundamental understanding of open wheel racing, i.e.: short high banked ovals with side by side restarts along with the uselessness of Brian Barnhart, that exaserbate the issue. Although Barnhart is gone, hopefully, it will not portend more uneccesary carnage. Hopefully, Indycar will become relevant again. I miss the great days of CART before Tony George single handedly ruined open wheel racing in the US.

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